Objective: To evaluate the impact of the universal infant hepatitis B vaccination program on hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Guangdong Province, China.
Methods: In 2006, a serosurvey was conducted in Guangdong Province among children aged <15 years, 14 years after the introduction of universal infant hepatitis B vaccination. The participants were selected by stratified, multi-stage random sampling. Demographic characteristics and hepatitis B vaccination history were collected by a questionnaire and a review of the vaccination records, and serum specimens were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) by ELISA. The prevalence rate of HBV serological markers and the rate of immunization coverage in this survey were compared with those of the 1992 and 2002 surveys.
Results: A total of 1967 children aged <15 years participated in 2006. The prevalence rate of HBsAg decreased from 19.86% in the 1992 survey to 4.91% in the 2006 survey. The rates of three-dose and timely birth dose coverage of hepatitis B vaccine were 92.40% and 70.84%, respectively, among children born during the period 2002-2005. The prevalence of HBsAg was significantly lower among fully immunized children (1.99%) than among unvaccinated children (5.56%).
Conclusions: Guangdong Province has successfully integrated the hepatitis B vaccine into routine immunization programs and this has had a very significant impact on decreasing the HBsAg carrier rate among children.
Copyright © 2012 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.